Nutritious Litterless Lunch

Nutritious Litterless Lunch | | Planetbox - Healthy Lunch - Children

If you have children, the task of making healthy school lunches has reappeared in your daily chores. As parents, it is our job to ensure a balanced lunch of healthy carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and fruit is sent to school each day. We also want to make lunches in zero time so a system needs to be in place.

To make our life easier, we are a Planetbox family. What is a Planetbox? It is a stainless-steel food-grade container that is compartmentalized for easy filling and easy eating! [And in case you are wondering, this is not a sponsored post! This is my opinion about how this lunch system works for us.]

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PROPS to The Kitchn lunchtime ideas | | healthy children / kids lunch ideas to help you find balance

It is back to school so every parent begins to fear the school lunch. Do you make it in the morning or prepare the night before? Are you dependent on pre-packaged goods or is everything sliced/diced and ready to go? Are you brown bagging or bento-boxing? Below are two articles from The Kitchn to give you some inspiration. Happy Noshing!

7 Lunchbox Ideas Kids Can Pack Themselves | The Kitchn
Forgot about the children and pack these lunches for you. Click on the link for more details but here is how we apply the seven ideas: Continue reading

Cookie Sheet Tic Tac Toe Fun!

Magnetic Cookie Sheet Tic Tac Toe Fun - - #magnetic #craft #game

If you go on to Pinterest and search “Cookie Sheet Fun” you will come up with a variety of ideas to entertain your child. For us, we are planning to use this magnetic cookie tray during a road trip. I am also packing magnetic letters and numbers, magnetic dress up dolls, and I have created this Tic Tac Toe game. To do this project, I had a bunch of leftover materials and an old cookie sheet. My one requirement: no spray paint!  I was looking for as little mess as possible.

My Supplies for Tic Tac Toe Cookie Sheet Fun:
– one cookie sheet
– two 12×12 sheets of card stock
– one scrap piece of card stock for decorative side
– leftover scraps of magnetic printer paper
– Sharpie (I chose gold)
– Scissors
– Pen
– Mod Podge
– Sponge Continue reading

Food Awareness

Food Awareness - - #children #food #gardening

It is school summer holidays here which means my five year old is home and I’m looking for ideas to keep her engaged and learning.

Camp is often the first choice for keeping children entertained since it provides different learning opportunities including excursions. After these full days of camp then the other activities begin with several nights of baseball, soccer, or lessons of some sort.

This creates days that are long and sometimes stressful.

Who am I kidding? It’s just like the rest of the year! We have just replaced school with camp and indoor activities with outdoor. We are always busy. And what happens when we are busy? We eat out more.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff of Weighty Matters discusses in his blog post how a major after-school lesson is missing: how to cook. “For the first time in history the average American family is spending more money in restaurants than they are in grocery stores.”

I’m not surprised with all the rushing we do. When does one have time to cook? Perhaps we should be adding it to our schedules as if it was a class? Wouldn’t the children get more out of a cooking lesson than another night of structured activity? And wouldn’t your wallet like it too?!? Eating is a necessity and preparing food is a Life Lesson.

We have tried to encourage time in the kitchen from an early age. Perhaps this is why I enjoyed having my toddler in a half day garden camp this past week. She had the opportunity to plant, pick, and taste a variety of vegetables and to create a curiosity and appreciation about food.

Sadly, they don’t run the garden program past age five. Here is an idea for someone out there that has the land and the skill: Farm to Table Camp.  A program where children (and adults too!) can not only learn how to grow the food but cook it too. I’m sure a winery component for the adults would make it a great success.

In the comments, please share your thoughts and ideas that have helped you SPROUT some BALANCE! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance – and Facebook!


Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.



Road Block Ahead

Road Block Ahead: Finding Calm Instead of Road Rage - - #calm #driving

I spend my day going in circles.

I am behind the wheel of a car multiple times a day shuffling between work locations, my daughter’s school and her activities. Now, this can be spent in a positive state or hinge on the edge of road rage. I try to stay cool and collected but a lot of the time, the other drivers make it difficult.

This morning, as others turned up their road rage, I dialed mine down and reflected. I started thinking about how their time on the road mirrors the rest of their life. How these habits are affecting the physical and mental health of these drivers and what we are indirectly teaching our children.

Full Speed Ahead
The light turns green and the car speeds up to (or past) the speed limit in a matter of seconds … to slam the brakes on for the next red light. Continue reading

Lil Sprout Easter

Lil Sprout Easter - - Decorating Styrofoam Eggs

In many households, Easter marks the arrival of the Easter Bunny and chocolate treats. It is then followed by a few weeks (or days) of consuming all of those goodies. Unless you are my family; we tend to eat it so slowly it turns a white-ish colour. We don’t want to be wasteful but we still want to have fun.

Lil Sprout Easter - - Decorating Styrofoam Eggs

Dollar store to the rescue! They stock plain white egg shaped Styrofoam that are begging to be coloured. We started this process a few weeks ago and have accumulated a lovely pile of decorated eggs. These can then be hidden on Easter morning and sought by our four-year old.

I love that this is a multi-stage process that can be enjoyed over several days or weeks. Or in our forgetful house it could be months. Last year, I found one hiding in a box of Q-tips in May! Thankful that Styrofoam eggs don’t rot!

Lil Sprout Easter - - Decorating Styrofoam Eggs

In the comments, please share your favourite Easter traditions and activities! And remember to follow us and SPROUT a conversation on Twitter – @sproutbalance – and Facebook!

Looking for some ideas on recipes, organization or things to do with your Lil Sprout? Come check out my Pinterest page and the things that inspire me to become more balanced.

Winter Driving

How do you prepare for Winter Driving in Ontario? | | #winter #driving

I am a born and raised Canadian and understand as an Ontarian that my winters will include snow, slush and icy conditions. I was taught as a child to wear my snow boots so I had a better grip when I walked the sidewalks (and my parents preferred my feet stayed dry too). We also protect ourselves from the elements by adding coats, scarves, hats and gloves to our person.

Now, why do some people choose not to outfit their cars with the same layers of protection? Washer fluid to clean the windows, brushes to clear snow, and snow tires to grip the streets? Continue reading